A three-year wait for water for a colony of 70 Dalit families in Rajasthan’s Ajmer ended on Friday with the authorities finally fixing the defunct supply pipe.
Repairs to the 800-metre pipeline were taken up only after HT highlighted the villagers’ plight in an exclusive report on May 25. Taking note of the story, the chief minister’s office ordered the public health and engineering department (PHED) to get the work done without delay.
For the last three years, women and children of the 70 households in Ghuda Khurd village were forced to travel 4-8km a day in the scorching heat to fetch water for their daily needs.
Complaints and requests for repairs to the pipe went unheard, said village sarpanch Dayal Kanwar.
“They never bothered about the problem before the news was published, despite our raising the issue repeatedly before different officials, including at a village administration camp in February,” she said.
But the morning after the HT report, Kanwar said, PHED officials visited the colony “as they do before a VIP visit” and PHED executive engineer Sunil Garg directed the contractor to complete the work at the earliest.
“Now we don’t have to travel long distances to get water. We can now use the time saved for our recreation or for work of our choice,” said Mangi Bai, a resident.